Hardkor
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Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 12:21 pm

Has anyone here flown them, and if so what do you think? Why would they reconfigure a 747 be reconfigured to fit less people to have more cargo space? wouldn't it lead to uneven weight distribution? I don't know much about these weird birds, if anyone can shed some light on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers,
Kory
 
sllevin
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 12:28 pm

I've actually got far more trips in Combi's than in non-Combi's. They are exactly the same (well, EVA's don't have PTVs, but I've never been a big PTV person myself) as a regular 747 except that there's a bulkhead at the aft galley at the trailing edge of the wing.

And let me tell you, EVA certainly gets cargo in there; they always had cargo to unload, even when pax loads were light (such as last September and October)

Steve
 
Lt-AWACS
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 12:31 pm

KLM flies them Houston-IAH to Amsterdam and I've heard they do quite well. Never flown the Combi though, just the Regulars

Ciao and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS
Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!
 
megatop
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 4:03 pm

I 2000 I was on a KLM 747-400 Combi flight from Jarkarta via Singapore to Amsterdam.

The plane was PH-BFI "City of Jakarta".


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The plane and service with KLM was good.

Megatop
 
ZRH
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 4:19 pm

I have flown in the former Swissair 747-300 combis plenty of time. For a passenger is not much difference. Only the main section is shorter. For airlines combis can make good business because they earn more money with freight than with passengers. On some routes they perhaps can't fill a "normal" 747 but have a lot of freight, so a combi is the best solution.
 
keesje
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 9:47 pm

IMO it would not have been possible for KLM to build and maintain an extensive intercontinental network from AMS without using combi's to fill up the 747's in a profitable way ....


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atlamt
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Fri May 03, 2002 10:49 pm

Usually when a combi flight arrives there is a special jack that has to be attached to the tail to keep the a/c from tipping onto its tail.


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Hardkor
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sat May 04, 2002 6:12 am

thanks for the info, I had no idea that they had to use a jack. Couldn't that cause a risk for the flight, if there's extra weight in the back end?
 
dutchjet
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sat May 04, 2002 6:27 am

I have flown on several 747 Combis, and on-board there is no difference, except that the 5th section of the pax cabin is closed off by a wall........some airlines re-arrange their toilet/galley facilties on their combis to make the revised layout more practical. The result is a shorter pax cabin and usually less economy seats.

The Combi developed, and was widely used by many airlines, including BA, LH, KL, SN, SR, SQ and others, during the late 1970s and 1980s quite simply because the 747 has many seats, too many for a lot of airlines to fill up on a good number of routes - thus, if the aircraft could carry extra cargo in the space that would have been filled with empty or low-yeilding pax, an airline could fly the 747 and make money - something that can be difficult.

The Combis are " out of style" now because smaller long haul airliners became available, starting with the 767 and A310, and now the 330/340 and 777 - the smaller aircraft allowed some of the combi users to seperate their cargo services and pax services. KL still uses the Combi, as does Evergreen and a few others. In the past years, the number of passengers flying and the increased use of hubs allow an airline to fill a 747 more easily, and if a route cannot support a 747, a smaller aircraft is used. That was not always the case.
 
ZRH
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sat May 04, 2002 6:33 am

This jack is interesting. I have watched many times the Swissair 747 combis in Zürich but never saw this kind of jack.
 
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eta unknown
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sat May 04, 2002 9:11 am

I actually prefer the combis- no way of getting seated in the 5th section if travelling economy.

747-200 combis: AZ BA KU QF
747-400 combis: KL LH

The Alitalia flight was interesting because section 4 and 5 was blocked for cargo (believe KLM did this too for a while) so it was like flying on a private jet (there were also only 10 pax on board).
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sat May 04, 2002 7:34 pm

>>>I had no idea that they had to use a jack. Couldn't that cause a risk for the flight, if
there's extra weight in the back end?

No, because inflight the passengers in the front make the balance work out. On the ground though, passengers leave the plane faster than cargo, hence the supporting tailstand.

Out of my 747 flights half were in Combis (all 400s, incidentally). It really makes no difference for the passenger. But it is annoying the tail section is missing: I usually sit in the very last window seats because there´s only one neighbour - that treat doesn´t exist in Combis.

BTW, one big former Combi operator, Lufthansa (the launch customer iirc), has converted all theirs to all pax versions. My understanding is that severe safety restrictions were imposed on carrying pax and cargo on one deck, following an incident (on Air Canada?) which would have made operating Combis too expensive for LH. Does anyone have information on that? All I remember is vague and blurred.

Perhaps this justifies a separate thread, "Why did LH get rid of their Combis?"

Daniel Smile


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PW100
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 1:28 am

Airsicknessbag

I'm not aware of any changes in regulations for carrying cargo on the same deck as pax. I'm not an expert though, but I guess it wouldn't make much difference wether you carry the cargo on the same deck behind the pax, or on the lower deck...which is just 8 feet below the pax! Most of the cargo below deck is usually closer to the pax than on the Combi cargo deck [except for the very last seat rows].

Anyway, it has not deterred KLM from flying Combis. KLM has 21 744, 16 of which are Combi's and all 16 are currently flown in Combi configuration. Furthermore, 8 out of the 9 743s that KLM is still flying are also Combis, making a grand total of 24 747 Combis in KLM current fleet, against only 6 or 7 full pax 747s.
The 747 Combi really made the difference in the development of KLMs worlwide network!

It would be really interesting to see if Boeing is going to develop a 777 [-300?] Combi for KLM... If they would develop a Combi, surely KLM would be one of the first to order them.

PW100
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thadocta
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 2:48 am

PW100 - "I'm not an expert though, but I guess it wouldn't make much difference wether you carry the cargo on the same deck behind the pax, or on the lower deck...which is just 8 feet below the pax!" - probably something to do with the cargo shifting whilst in-flight, possibly as a result of severe turbulence causing restraints to break or something, and then having it come crashing down on the self-loading cargo. Unlikely, I know, but various governments around the world are reknown for making expensive decisions to counter the flimsiest dangers.

Dave
 
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PW100
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 4:47 am

Thadocta
Yes, I see your point. However I would believe that this [shifting cargo] must be a "simple" challenge for todays engineers. Even if some freaky authorities find it unacceptable, there must be an easy engineering solution.
I would expect that the problem with cargo has more to do with "dangerous goods", chemiclas, fire hazards etc. on board of modern airliners that carry an increasingly large number of self loading cargo [744, 380]. For these type of danger it doesn't really matter where the cargo is, either lower deck or aft deck. I can imagine that some people are not happy to combine these types of cargo with large pax numbers. Most of these people however don't realise that most large airliners carry significant amount of cargo below deck.

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
DC9
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 5:37 am

I have flown on KLM's B747-300 Combi between Paramaribo (PMB/SMJP) and Amsterdam the only difference I could notice was from the outside where they loaded cargo through the aft at PAX level.
 
777236ER
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 5:45 am

The safety implication with same-level cargo are as follows: if there is a crash, cargo can very easily come through the bulkhead, squishing lots of people.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
AsianaAirlines
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 7:47 am

The majority of Asiana's 747's are Combis. Most of the combi's arent as modernized as the full 747. For example, If you fly on Asiana's 747-400, you'll have a definite chance on having PTV's in business. But if you are flying on a combi, there wouldnt be much of a chance to recieve PTV's on business class.
 
lanperu
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Did I Miss Something?

Sun May 05, 2002 10:02 am

Why wouldn't u be able to offer PTVs if you have a Combi plane?
 
thadocta
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 10:42 am

Ummm, let's see.... because the Asiana 747 combis do not have PTV's fitted?

Dave
 
GARUDAROD
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 10:54 am


The cause of the stricter safety regulations was the
South African B747-200 Combi that crashed on a
flight from Taipei over the Indian Ocean. There was an
inflight fire that they were unable to contain. As a
result of this, all Combi operations were to have a
Class "D" firesupport system installed in the maindeck
cargo comparment. All dangerous goods have be
clearly labled and loaded on or near the outside of the
cargo container for easy access in case of fire.
The combi compartment is seperated by 10G crash
restraint nets, so there is no fear of cargo squishing
pax as mentioned in an above thread. The combi
is an ideal aircraft because you get the seating of
an MD11 combined with cargo ability of a DC8F.
Routes where the pax demand is not full all the time
are ideal combi Routes. I personally worked
the Garuda Combi between LAX and CGK and will
tell you, we made more money with the cargo
on the main deck. Except for the shorter passenger
cabin, there is no difference in the aircraft
Cargo doesn't whine, moan, or complain
 
Soku39
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 11:31 am


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I think the tail jack is a simple yet pretty ingenious solution really. dont you?  Wink/being sarcastic
The Ohio Player
 
fanofjets
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 11:32 am

Of all the combi aircraft, the 747 combi's are by far the most comfortable for the passengers. The bulkhead at the rear of the cabin, as several persons in this thread mentioned, is quite unobtrusive to the passengers. On a 707-320C (I flew on a Sabena bird), on the other hand, the shorter cabin is very much more noticible, as the bulkhead is at the front, in plain view. As a passenger, that arrangement was quite unpleasant.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
lanperu
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 11:55 am

Thadocta: Umm..ok?

Is there a specific reason why PTVs cannot be installed?
 
thadocta
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 1:07 pm

There is indeed a specific reason - they don't want to.  Smile

Dave
 
AsianaAirlines
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RE: Why 747 Combis?

Sun May 05, 2002 5:17 pm

Yup, thats right. And plus, the 747-400's are newer with the new business class ptv's.

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